HC Deb 29 May 1963 vol 678 cc1294-5
23. Mr. E. L. Mallalieu

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the United Kingdom representative on the United Nations Working Group on the Examination of the Administrative and Budgetary Procedures of the United Nations supported the suggestion in its Report for a voluntary peace-keeping fund.

Mr. P. Thomas

No, Sir. The current Special Session of the General Assembly is concentrating, in our view rightly, on the more immediate problems of collecting arrears of contributions and of working out arrangements for financing the United Nations Emergency Force and the Organisation des Nations Unies au Congo for the remainder of 1963.

Mr. Mallalieu

Is the Under-Secretary of State aware that no fewer than seven of the non-aligned countries have already expressed their approval of this voluntary peace-keeping fund? Can he give any real reason why people should not be able to demonstrate their loyalty to the world community in this way if they wish to?

Mr. Thomas

I am aware of the views that have been expressed by the countries to which the hon. and learned Member has referred, but we regard it as extremely important to preserve the basic principle of the collective financial responsibility of the members of the organisation for its activities.

Sir C. Osborne

Why should we expect a voluntary peace-keeping fund to be any more effective than the old Kellogg Peace Pact of 1928 which, when it came to the test, was so futile and so useless?

Mr. Thomas

We certainly agree that the suggestion is not a very practical one.

Mr. Warbey

Will the Minister bear in mind that the whole purpose of these operations is to put teeth into what were formerly pious aspirations; that we cannot have teeth without money, and that when people voluntarily pay money for action, they are more likely to be interested in it, and to support it?

Mr. Thomas

The very fact that the hon. Gentleman has said one cannot have teeth without money indicates how very out of date he always is.